A helicopter crashed in a residential area of Pompano Beach, Florida, on Monday morning, August 28, resulting in the deaths of a fire captain and an unidentified female bystander, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Four other people sustained serious injuries in the incident.
The rescue helicopter, an Airbus Helicopter EC 135T-1, was en route to North Lauderdale when it descended into a building shortly after taking off from Pompano Beach Airpark at around 8:45 a.m.
Video footage from the scene showed the chopper descending with black smoke trailing from its tail before crashing near Blanche Ely High School. Shortly after, the one-story building and aircraft were engulfed in flames.
The deceased fire captain, Terryson Jackson, 50, had been with the Broward Sheriff’s Office for 19 years. In a statement, Fire Chief Timothy Keffe expressed his sorrow: “Our fallen captain, Terryson Jackson, passed doing what he loved.”
Two crew members, including the 37-year-old pilot, escaped from the wreckage and were seen climbing onto the building’s roof. Residents of the affected building were evacuated. Victoria Walczak, a resident, described the scene, likening it to “a war zone.”
The cause of the crash, which occurred under reportedly clear skies, remains under investigation.